Just say no! Boris told to reject Brexit-hater Rutte’s defence pitch: 'Are we daft?'

Adrian Hill suggested Brussels had shown its true colours with its decision to freeze Britain out of the Galileo satellite system – and also said the UK was far better forging alliances such as AUKUS, the trilateral pact signed with Australia and the USA last week. Mr Hill, who among other diplomatic posts worked as a member of the Channel Tunnel team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the COBRA Committee of the Cabinet Office, was speaking after reports that Mr Rutte, who visited Number 10 on Friday, was poised to offer the UK a security agreement with the EU – although the European Commission subsequently suggested the claim was premature.

The former officer in the Royal Engineers suggested the bloc’s treatment of Britain during the five years since the 2016 referendum indicated that it could not be trusted.

Commenting on reports which emerged over the weekend, he told Express.co.uk: “As for the Dutch security offer to Boris – just say no thanks.

“Who is so daft that they want to get into the same trench/foxhole as Mr Rutte, a vocal critic of Brexit?”

He explained: “These are the same people who banned us from the Galileo military satellite communications system after we’d paid over a billion pounds towards its development.

“Thank heavens they did and showed us that with friends like these who needs enemies?”

Mr Hill suggested involving the UK with any integrated European defence network was “is a way of closing down NATO”.

READ MORE: EU shamed by ‘bigger, tougher’ UK and US after Australia defence pact

“The EU is in bed with Vlad for his gas and already you can see how many problems that’s causing.”

The Times last week suggested Mr Rutte would make his offer, with an unnamed diplomatic source saying: “Since Brexit, not enough European leaders have been in touch with Johnson.

“It is important to look at the geopolitics without being divided and there is a need to work with the UK.”

However, asked about the rumours of an offer, Commission spokesman Peter Stano subsequently said: “These are not true.

“When it comes to any proposal for a framework for cooperation on foreign, security or defence issues between the EU and the UK it would first need to be discussed and agreed among member states.”

Prior to Mr Rutte’s meeting with Mr Johnson, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have a strong defence relationship both with the EU and individual EU member states.

“Obviously we have always been clear that NATO remains the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security and we are its biggest European contributor.”

After Britain’s departure from the EU last year, the EU’s 27 governments say they have offered London security cooperation, but British and EU diplomats have said for the time being Britain is not planning to join any EU military pacts.

On Thursday, EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said Britain was welcome to join EU efforts to build a common defence policy that have gained momentum since 2017 – but explained the British government had so far not shown any interest.

In May, the United States, Norway and Canada signed up to a Dutch-led project to overcome delays in moving troops across Europe which involves money from the EU and NATO’s expertise, but Britain has so far stayed out of any direct involvement.

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